Settlement Services International (SSI) is recognised as a sector leader globally in resettlement and integration. We are committed to contributing to the sector globally through influencing and developing policy, advocacy, capacity building and developing strong partnerships internationally.
Strategic goals 2019 - 2023
- To build SSI's international presence and for SSI to be recognised as a sector leader and thought-leader globally
- Contributing to the global sector through influencing and developing policy that affects the communities SSI works with
- Building and strengthening the capacity of the sector globally through new partnerships and scoping new opportunities
- A commitment to advocacy and supporting the meaningful engagement of people with lived experience.
SSI's international team operates under the focus areas of protection, solutions, capacity-building and gender advocacy. Strategic goals are achieved through:
- SSI’s engagement in the UNHCR NGO Consultations and our role as the Rapporteur in 2018. Full report here.
- Showcasing programs of settlement and integration globally. For example, through the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Refugee Forum, SSI submitted good practice examples which were included in UNHCR's Digital Platform.
- Submitting Pledges at the GRF to showcase SSI’s commitment to working towards Solutions, Jobs and Livelihoods and supporting the Meaningful Participation of Refugees.
- Collaborating and developing partnerships to strengthen capacity with various stakeholders in new and emerging resettlement countries.
- Delivering training and facilitating webinars to strengthen capacity of the sector through key partnerships such as the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN).
- Engage with key international bodies such as UNHCR, the United Nations (UN), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and networks, such as the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), to influence the development of new policies that affect the communities we work with globally and locally.
- SSI submitted a statement to the UN Commission on the Status of Women 65th session (CSW). Read SSI's CSW Submission here in addition to facilitating national dialogue with migrant and refugee women on CSW, compiling a report and hosting a global webinar.
- SSI engaged in the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) 2022. Read SSI's statement submitted to the UN on how SSI is aligned to the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Migration.
UNHCR Integration Handbook
SSI was one of the twenty-one organizations globally that worked with UNHCR to update the content of its Integration Handbook.
The UNHCR Integration Handbook is a key reference text on the integration of resettled refugees. SSI and other NGOs, refugees, governments, academics, UNHCR, and other international organizations worked collaboratively from 2019.
It was funded by the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP). The Handbook has been updated to reflect the changing nature of integration processes and programmes.
SSI provided input on various chapters, including:
- Placement, Reception & Orientation
- Employment & Training
- Welcoming & Inclusive Societies
- Age, Gender & Diversity
International Labour Organization (ILO) endorsement
SSI has endorsed the advocacy letter calling for the ratification of International Labour Organization C-190 - End Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.
ILO C-190 recognises the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment and provides a common framework for action. Click here for more information.
International Media Hits
Despite humanitarian visas, refugees barred from Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions | ABC News. Refugees who have been granted their Australian humanitarian visas are stuck in limbo overseas since borders have closed due to COVID-19. ABC News interviewed SSI's Yamamah Agha to discuss how the pressing issue impacts resettlement locally. Click here to tune in.
SSI signs Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations. SSI is among the first organisations in Australia to sign the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations. The Charter, adopted by 25 organisations worldwide since its launch in May, sets out seven commitments to galvanise and steer collective humanitarian action in response to climate and environmental crises that threaten the survival of humanity. Click here to read more in the ProBono article and tune into a 4EB.FM interview with SSI Senior Policy and Project Officer - International Protection, Carmen Ghaly.
'Refugees should be included in intakes when travel restrictions ease'. SBS Punjabi spoke to SSI General Manager – Settlement, Yamamah Agha, about refugees being included in intakes when restrictions ease “as they were originally designated for resettlement due to dire circumstances.” Click here to read the SBS article.
SBS Urdu spoke to SSI General Manager – Settlement, Yamamah Agha, about the settlement sector being hit by COVID-19 and how programs such as Welcome2Sydney keep people and communities connected during unprecedented times. Click here to read the SBS article.
‘Australia cannot leave migrants behind as we face COVID-19'. SSI proudly joined the Human Rights Law Centre and the Migrant Workers Centre and more than 120 other civil society, faith, business, union and migrant organisations across Australia to call on the Morrison Government to urgently expand its wage subsidy JobKeeper scheme to include all working people in Australia, regardless of their visa status or how long they’ve been working in their current job. Click here to read the full statement.
‘NSW joins interstate counterparts in helping asylum seekers left with no federal support’. A Settlement Services International survey in May of 461 temporary visa holders, many of them seeking asylum, showed that 75% could not pay rent and 62% had gone without meals because of their lack of funds. Click here to read the Third Sector article.
‘Bushfires bring the refugee crisis to Australia’. SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis reflects, ‘And while looking at our own backyard we must not forget our neighbours. As a developed nation, Australia has a responsibility to take an active role in the global refugee crisis, including unfreezing our refugee intake and exploring complementary settlement pathways such as a Community Sponsorship Program.’ Click here to read SSI CEO’s Women’s Agenda Op-Ed.
Refugee settlement in the age of COVID-19: embracing the challenges to futureproof support services. The impact of the pandemic has seen many industries approach the crisis more creatively, and innovation during COVID-19 is equally essential for organisations supporting refugees, such as SSI. Click here to read the UNSW Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law article covering how SSI has navigated settlement during the pandemic.
Global Refugee Forum. Ahead of UNHCR’s first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in 2019, more than 65 community groups (including SSI) across Australia had pledged their support for an expanded and improved community refugee sponsorship program. Click here to read the SBS news article.
Global Trends Report commentary. NGO leaders, including SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis, spoke out about how Australia must seriously rethink its refugee policy and increase its humanitarian intake after it was revealed more than 70 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2018. Click here to read the ProBono Australia article.
Record year for global displacement emphasises important role Australia can play in helping world’s most vulnerable. SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said, “A community sponsorship program like we see in Canada or the UK would be a great supplement to our current humanitarian program.” Click here to read the Migration Alliance article.
Allianz Ladder. For World Refugee Week, HRM spoke with two Syrian refugees who, with the help of two programs, including the SSI ‘Allianz Ladder Program’. SSI teamed up with Allianz to create the program which offers refugees business skills training, mentoring and innovation workshops to support progression into employment. Click here to read the HRM article.
Refugee Week 2019. An event was organised by OneStep Walks in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with support from Settlement Services International and Australia for UNHCR, marking Refugee Week 2019.
SSI Settlement Services Manager Dor Akech Achiek discusses walking with his mother and siblings from South Sudan through Uganda and on to Kenya for almost three months. Click here to read the UNHCR article and the Third Sector article.
Leaders call on government to sign UN compact, and endorsing the migration compact are the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, Jesuit Refugee Services, Settlement Services International, UNICEF Australia and others. Click here to read The Catholic Weekly article.